Plano Reads: The Year’s Best – Staff Favorites for 2023
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Plano Reads: The Year’s Best – Staff Favorites for 2023

Here are some of the books we’ve liked most in the past year — we hope you’ll enjoy them, too!

Fiction Favorites

Hell Phone by Benjie Nate – Sissy and Lola are best friends, next-door neighbors, and now … murder solvers? When Sissy picks up a lost flip-phone and follows the instructions from the stranger on the other line, she and Lola are flung into an investigation of a grisly crime. With each new phone call, the girls are dug deeper into a conspiracy that threatens their lives–and possibly their friendship. But with no way to escape the dreaded calls, the only way out is to unravel the mystery. Print 

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne – Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors — even if he does have the reputation of a devil. Print | eBook 

Return to Valetto by Dominic Smith – Widower Hugh Fisher return to Valetto, the almost-abandoned Italian town where he spent his childhood, to visit his grandmother on her one-hundredth birthday. The birthday visit leads Hugh to discover long-hidden secrets from the war years that still reverberate painfully in Valetto, but his return also offers him a chance at an unexpected new life. An accomplished novel, and a real pleasure to read. Print 

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett – As the pandemic begins in early 2020, Lara’s three adult daughters return to their parents’ Michigan cherry orchard to stay. They listen eagerly to Lara’s memories of Peter Duke, a famous actor whom she knew and loved years ago, while working as an actress in summer theater at Tom Lake. A elegant meditation on first romance, memory, and the enduring power of loving family ties from the gifted Ann Patchett. Print | Large Print | eBook | Audiobook | Playaway  

White Cat, Black Dog: Stories by Kelly Link – Finding seeds of inspiration in the Brothers Grimm, seventeenth-century French lore, and Scottish ballads, Kelly Link spins classic fairy tales into utterly original stories of seekers – characters on the hunt for love, connection, revenge, or their own sense of purpose. Print | eBook | Audiobook 

Noteworthy Nonfiction

A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them by Timothy Egan – The Roaring Twenties has been characterized as a time of Gatsby-like frivolity. But it was also the height of the uniquely American hate group, the Ku Klux Klan. Their domain was not the old Confederacy, but the Heartland and the West. And the man who set in motion their takeover of great swaths of America was a charismatic charlatan named D.C. Stephenson, a magnetic presence whose life story changed with every telling. Within two years of his arrival in Indiana, he’d become the state’s Grand Dragon and the architect of the strategy that brought the group out of the shadows. But at the peak of his influence, it was a seemingly powerless woman – Madge Oberholtzer – who revealed his secret cruelties, and whose testimony finally brought the Klansmen to their knees. Print | eBook | eAudiobook | Playaway  

Stay True: A Memoir by Hua Hsu – This year’s winner of the first Pulitzer Prize given for memoir or autobiography, Stay True is Hua Hsu’s recollection of a cherished college friendship, and a great loss, that transformed his life and writing. The Pulitzer jury described his book as “an elegant and poignant coming of age account that considers intense, youthful friendships but also random violence that can suddenly and permanently alter the presumed logic of our personal [lives].” Print | Large Print | eBook | eAudiobook  

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